Welcome back to the top comics of the month countdown! This time, we’re taking a look at the books that came out in March! We saw some excellent books come out this month, and we’ll take a look at a few that really stood out for me. So let’s get into it! (Warning: The following list contains SPOILERS!)
Guardians of the Galaxy #3
Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw are back with another installment featuring our favorite outcasts, and things are starting to heat up here! Still torn by the events of Infinity Wars and the fracturing of his previous team, Peter Quill has had it with crazy cosmic adventures and wants nothing more than to keep his distance. Well, it’s a little difficult for him with everyone in the galaxy panicking over the mystery of the “new” Thanos and everyone’s attention turning towards Gamora. He’ll inevitably be drawn into the madness again. In just three issues, Cates and Shaw have completely hooked me with their Guardians of the Galaxy run, and the sheer scope of their story is incredible. It reminds me a lot of the Abnett/Lanning era from 2008 which is considered to be one of the best eras for the Guardians. It’s a series I find myself counting down the days until the next issue, eagerly waiting to see what comes next for this new (and awesome) team of Guardians. Cates is playing with a lot of great cosmic characters, and Shaw’s gorgeous artwork really makes this book stand out on the shelf. I highly recommend this series.
In this issue, we finally meet the infamous Namma, who has plagued and terrified the citizens of Unspoken Water for so long. Aquaman, or “Andy” as he’s called right now, has delivered Namma’s daughter, Caille, in the hopes of making peace with her to end the poisoning of the ocean. It’s revealed that Caille is a much larger piece of the puzzle than he realized and soon, he finds himself fighting for his life against the full fury of the sea goddess! Kelly Sue DeConnick and Robson Rocha have slowly built up a very compelling story of Aquaman as he slowly begins to understand his connection to the ocean again. While he’s still a ways off from remembering who he is, the moments of discovery in this run so far have been truly exciting. I’m having a great time with this series as DeConnick and Rocha deliver an Aquaman series that feels more like a fantasy tale than just a superhero one. I’m excited to see where the creative team takes Aquaman in their run, and while I do hope he and Mera are reunited soon, this mythological tale of sea gods and creatures has me captivated. I recommend picking up this issue if you haven’t as it’s easily the best issue of their run so far.
Conan the Barbarian #4
Thanks to Jason Aaron and Mahmud Asrar, Conan the Barbarian has been revitalized with a new ongoing series as well as a few miniseries. With the comic rights to Conan back in Marvel’s lap, the publisher quickly sought out the best in the business. As a result, we have an incredible new Conan the Barbarian ongoing. It doesn’t matter if you’re new to Conan or pulp fiction itself, Aaron and Asrar deliver new reader-friendly tales that immediately draw you into the barbaric world of Conan. However, in this issue, Aaron is joined by Gerardo Zaffino on art duties. Each issue acts as a standalone story, but they will all play into the larger, 12-issue arc called “The Life and Death of Conan.” In this issue, Conan has successfully fought for and won the throne of Aquilonia. As the newly crowned king of Aquilonia, Conan finds himself utterly bored and useless in the role. He longs for adventure and the throne acts more like a prison for him more than anything else. So, under the cover of night, Conan wanders the street as a vigilante, punishing those who deserve it. Ultimately, this issue was very unexpected for me and turned out to be my favorite issue of the series so far. Zaffino’s art fits the mood of the book perfectly, filling the issue with gritty, rough, and brutal action sequences as Conan cuts his way through his numerous enemies. Conan the Barbarian continues to be an exciting sword & sorcery series from Marvel Comics and another smash hit from Jason Aaron and Mahmud Asrar.
Amazing Spider-Man #16.HU
The famous web-slinger has been in good hands ever since Nick Spencer took over the Amazing Spider-Man series last summer. Much like the name of the first arc, Spencer really did bring Spidey “back to basics,” showing readers why we love Spider-Man so much. His relationships with his friends, loved ones, and even enemies are incredibly relatable and Spencer has done a fantastic job exploring those relationships to make a series that’s fun, humorous, and emotional. Throughout the series, Spencer has slowly been building up his big Kraven the Hunter story. Amazing Spider-Man #16.HU acts as a prelude to the big Spider-Man event by focusing on one of Spider-Man’s most iconic characters: Black Cat. Felicia Hardy has been a lot of things to Spider-Man: ally, enemy, lover – you name it. Earlier in this run, Peter revealed his identity to her again after she had her memories of him erased. With the two of them mending their strained relationship, we really got a clear look to see what’s going on in Felicia’s mind, especially now that she’s put aside her time as a kingpin of crime. The return of a more heroic Black Cat is a very welcomed change. Iban Coello’s art is splendid in this issue, his figures are beautifully illustrated and the action is dynamic and exhilarating. This was one of my favorite single issues of the year so far as Spencer and Coello deliver an issue that’s both delightful as well as utterly heartbreaking. This issue made me excited for not only the “Hunted” storyline in Amazing Spider-Man but also Black Cat’s new solo ongoing coming this summer! It’s about time Black Cat got time to shine like she is right now, hopefully bright things are on the horizon for her.
Justice League #19
Scott Snyder and Jorge Jimenez are back with another exciting issue of Justice League with the start of a new arc called “The Sixth Dimension.” After a few issues solely focused on the Legion of Doom, it’s nice to see the main Justice League team again. After the events of Drowned Earth, the team has shaken up a bit with Aquaman missing and Mera taking his place. Starman has also joined the team as they look to stop the Legion of Doom’s plan of waking Perpetua, who is part of a group of beings called Super Celestials. In order to stop them, the Justice League recruit longtime Superman villain, Mr. Mxyzptlk to help them out. The art and story work beautifully together as we’re tossed through a thrilling, zany adventure as the heroes of the Justice League experience the Fifth Dimension. Jimenez is back on art and it’s a welcomed return. I couldn’t imagine a better-suited artist than Jimenez. His energetic and lively art style lends itself perfectly to the craziness of this arc. I’m very eager to see where this new arc leads, especially now that the League has met their counterparts in this apparent utopia called the Sixth Dimension.
Let us know which comics stood out for you the most during this month!
I agree on most reviews, with one exception, the review of Aquaman. Its a total mess, lacks anything the author describes. Characters are dull and lifeless as rocks. The amnesiac arc is long and boring. Above else it has nothing of what made Aquaman enjoyable previously. Superhero comics are meant to be fun loving adventures to enjoy. This Aquaman is none of that. It depresses you.
Considering the success achieved at boxoffice by Aquaman, one would have expected a much better scenario for prospective new readers to connect with. Instead not only any potential new reader is pushed away since he/she can’t find anything familiar in it, But also the traditional fanbase are starting to drop the book. Traditional characters that have enriched the Aquaman universe, have been ignored. Further even the second most important character in the Aquaman comic, Mera, is being prepared to be written off in an arranged marriage. Above all the issues by Deconnick are nothing new, old stories of Aquaman being retold with some touches and embellishments. Aquaman fighting new Gods is neither a new concept.
Concluding – Don’t waste your money on this book, make better use of your time. The Days of Geoff Jones, Peter David and Abnett are being looked on with nostalgic feelings by many already. At this rate Aquaman will continue to lose readers and end pulled off the shelves. A case of Good Riddance, maybe not for the loyal fans but they don’t have any say.
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